Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One Size to Fit Millions

I noticed a post on PC World this morning regarding potential redesigns for Facebook’s home page.


I’m not much of a Facebook fan, I glance at it every few days, but it doesn’t play much of a role in my life. Still, I can feel their pain. I run my classes using a “learning management system” called Moodle. It, too, creates a specific structure upon a page designed to meet the needs of a group. But my group numbers in the mere hundreds and still the page generates considerable confusion and chagrin. Facebook has what, 250, 300 million people to please? OMG! as the texterati would write.

People are possessive about Facebook – they refer to it as My Facebook Page. Not my page on Facebook. Sitting there on your screen, the difference may seem slight – but viscerally the difference is immense. Users think they “own” Facebook. Never mind that it is free and there remains the nagging question of who “really owns” all that stuff y’all post up there. Regardless, feelings about Facebook definitely remain “personal possessive.”

How do you change the “look and feel” of something that 300 million people think they own? We will see, perhaps, in the next few weeks. Who knows? I will make a prediction – somehow the ads will become more prominent. “Ads?” you say? Sure. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the little link next to About that says Advertising. See? You too can be up there pushing product on those millions of “My Facebook” pages.


  1. Recently it feels like Facebook has become much more impersonal. When myspace was first introduced, it seems that it faded out because it was replaced by Facebook; however although Facebook accounts may still be increasing, I venture to guess that the postings are changing dramatically. The page I created was designed out of necessity (thanks COM240) to conduct a research project. I only have about 45 friends and they mostly out of state. The interesting thing I have noticed in the past months is that the way that new applications have popped up at an exponential rate. Whether they are games, a ranking of "who's the most popular", or who can name all the album covers, it seems that Facebook is trying to "grab" information through trivia. Instead of hitting users over the head with "buy this" they are carefully figuring out what users are interested in. If a user plays a game they find a target market. If a user wants to name music albums maybe they should suggest more but start to narrow genres. I can see where this is going. Yea, they are creating a game amongst friends but they are filtering their users, and I do not think there is nothing to stop them from selling statistics to corporations interested in emailing promotions and more aggressive ad campaigns.
    Sara N.

  2. TYPO!!! ....." do not think there is ANYTHING to stop them from selling statistics to corporations interested in emailing promotions and more aggressive ad campaigns.
    Sara N.
    October 16, 2009 10:58 AM

  3. Tis, true - the Internet is now primarily a business environment. Our task - I guess - is trying to figure out how to use that environment to meet our own objectives which may not be profit driven at all.

  4. I agree with Sara N. I started a Myspace profile before I knew about Facebook. When I did discover Facebook, I found myself spending more time there than on Myspace due to the evergrowing need to update pages with graphics, music, videos, etc. Facebook originally was a means for old friends to reconnect, but it seems to be much different after a few years.
    In my opinion, this is due in part to a younger crowd. When Myspace was restricted to 16 and older, it wasn't as "competitive" as it is today. Facebook appeared to face the same change when the creators started allowing highschool students to join. With a younger and much larger population to cater to, the creators of Facebook had to find a way to entertain users and still generate revenue.
    Myspace and Facebook seem to be very similar today compared to where they came from years ago. Posed with the same issues, I belive they both took the same approach:
    More banners, apps, and quizzes.

  5. I feel that for the user, the facebook page becomes "diff" when you began to have certain types of albums, or the language that people use in your comments, and the type of posts people make on your page are all factors that make you feel like its your page. However, it is not like myspace, where users can really create a seperate identity through their layout.
    In reality. everything that you put on that page, is legally owned by facebook or myspace. It can even be used against you. so its not private and will never once its on that page.